What Heroic Qualities Are Exhibited By The Townspeople In Their Fight Against The Plague In The Novel "The Plague" By Albert Camus.

1296 words - 5 pages

It is necessary to point out, throughout Albert Camus' novel "The Plague", heroic qualities are evident in all characters during the time of the plague. Such qualities, shared by all, are values that are subject to an individual's own interpretation of what makes one "heroic". As such interpretations are consistently variant, there is a need to narrow down and restrict such a generalized view on heroic traits, and define the exact qualities that make an individual universally heroic, that is to say, the qualities that are classical components of heroism, identifiable in certain characters throughout the novel. Whether such heroic deeds are due to a sense of duty, loyalty to the goodwill of mankind, or even the resistance to accept death and grasp survival; heroism in itself is exhibited in many such forms by the various townspeople dealing with the plague. For only through the oncoming of such a crisis, are the people able to display their stringent moral worth and the values that isolate them as 'heroic' in the opinions of those surrounding them. Truly, the plague is a terrible burden upon the townspeople and mankind in general, however, it also uncovers the most admirable traits in mankind and is thus seen to force an exhibition of the heroic qualities the townspeople possess.Heroism can be seen as a duty that one must undertake, and certainly for Riuex, it is his undying dedication to the practice of helping people that enables him to possess heroic traits. His loyalty to his job, and his sense of commitment to the townspeople, go hand in hand as he could be seen to become the foundation of a "hero" within the novel. The claim that "morality is first of all a question of curing people", further reiterates Riuex's strong moral code that comes with his occupation as a doctor. It is evident that due to this, Riuex is obliged to undergo such duties, as his job places him in sharp contrast against the plague, forcing him into a stance as it's natural opposition. Yet in the face of such "never-ending defeat", Riuex is still able to maintain perseverance in the hope of such tragedy; his stringent belief seen through the faint glimmer of optimism when presented with a serem., even as it fails to prevent the death of a child. Rieux's restraint at an outburst in response to Paneloux's pessimistic comment, "If he is to die, he will have suffered longer"; provides a fine example of the doctors endless pursuit of health for the people, even after the cures themselves have failed, Riuex manages to maintain that same sense of duty considered inherently heroic in nature; with his indifference towards the conclusion of the novel never overshadowing his stringent perseverance.The endless pursuit of any goal may be seen as a heroic quality, and Riuex's refusal to cease his fight against the plague, is also shared by that of Tarrou. Though Tarrou differs somewhat, battling against the plague directly instead of aiding those it strikes; he struggles against the...

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